Enlist the services of Orvis-endorsed guide Durrell Smith and staff at The Sporting Life Notebook on your wingshooting trip to Georgia

4.7 out of 5 Customer Rating
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The Sporting Life Notebook, LLC.

Orvis-Endorsed Wingshooting Guide


Phone icon(404) 444-5889 Email icondurrellsmith@thesportinglifenotebook.com Link iconthesportinglifenotebook.com
Austell, GA 30168

  • Hunt among the longleaf pines of the South Georgia Red Hills for wild bobwhite quail
    — The luxurious Hollywood Farms estate in Jeffersonville, GA fuses antebellum allure with contemporary comfort
  • You can also join Durrell on Georgia’s beautiful public land in pursuit of King Bob
  • Hollywood Farms sporting experience, rates start at $4,680 for a 3-day/2-night single-hunter package
  • For public land wild bird hunting, single-hunter rates start at $1,250
  • Our hunting season runs November through February with a limited selection of dates for Hollywood Farms

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Enlist the services of Orvis-endorsed guide Durrell Smith and staff at The Sporting Life Notebook on your wingshooting trip to Georgia. There was a time when the glorious bobwhite quail could be found in large numbers across the Southeast. Over the past five decades, the overwhelming number of challenges they've faced has forced their populations to plummet dramatically. For those of us who share a passion for bird dogs and upland hunt, a wingshooting trip to the piney woods of the Red Hills and South Georgia is a pilgrimage to the very place where our sport gained its prominence. Draped in history and tradition, on public land, longleaf and loblolly are all burned into the breaks of our consciousness. If you were to stick a pin in a map to mark the 'hallowed mecca' of The Sporting Life, it would certainly fall somewhere between middle and South Georgia, from Macon to Thomasville. This region is the unequivocal foundation of the sport and the wisdom of African American dogmen in this part of the US is omnipresent. Just a few years ago, Durrell wrote an article for Gun Dog Magazine entitled “Red Hills Reminiscences.” Your guided hunt trip is composed of Durrell’s favorite covers and places he flushed coveys in plantation country while writing the article. Durrell has specifically tailored this trip to provide superb bird dog work on the best public land areas in Georgia. While immersing guests in the rich history and splendid bird dog traditions of this lovely region, The Sporting Life Notebook offers them an experience of dog power in braces, with our most notable dogs paired to point and back each other in pursuit of wild birds, and stellar, field-trial quality manners that offer our guests clean, safe, and strategic shots. After the feathers fall, we send our retriever out to locate and bring back game. It is our goal not only to display pristine bird dog work on wild birds, but also to educate our guests on the vibrant history and culture of the Southern landscape.

Hollywood Farms 2022/2023 Wild Bobwhite Quail Hunting Experience:


Wild Quail Experience:

  • 3 days, 2 nights, all-inclusive experience
  • Overnight stay in historic 1850 Antebellum home
  • Only five bedrooms welcoming single or double occupancy.
  • Fine, table-served meals
  • All libations, wine, and spirits
  • 100 clay targets and shotgun shell ammunition included in your pre-hunt experience

South, Georgia Public Land Wild Bobwhite Quail Hunting Experience:

  • Public land, foot hunting
  • Lunch and dinner provided during midday break and after the hunt

Hunters must complete and return the liability waiver attached to the introductory email within at least 48 hours of the hunt. We suggest hunters wear a comfortable pair of boots and a good pair of chaps or briar pants that you don't mind walking many miles in. TSLN will have additional gear and resources for the hunter(s) as well as extra orange vests, water, snacks, maps, etc.

In the interest of safety and tradition, please only bring double-barrel break-action shotguns (Durrell can provide hunters with an over-under shotgun and ammunition if necessary).

We also kindly ask for hunters to have an up-to-date hunter education certificate and valid Georgia hunting license. Please provide proof of this license and certification.

We will start the hunt at sunrise to catch the earliest opportunities when birds begin to feed and come off their roosts. At midday, we break for lunch at a selection of local favorite restaurants. At the end of the hunt, once firearms are safely stored away and game processed and stored, guests are welcomed to a choice of dinner options and libations.

There is also the potential to take a banded quail on this property as the DNR studies this area extensively. If you do, please report your harvest back to the Georgia DNR and they will send you a certificate with the bird’s information. It is quite an achievement and a nod to great conservation actions taken to continue to cultivate pristine habitat for our wild birds.

Hunters will receive a map and additional information about the wildlife management area.

After the hunt, we would love to capture a quick 15-second video on your hunting experience for our web and social channels and will send a final survey for feedback on your experience.

From the Project Upland film, "Get the Art", based on Durrell's visual perspective of hunting in the Red Hills:

“I have spent about 20 years studying fine art and art history; I am really drawn to tracing modes of expression as humanity and groups of people evolve. It’s about developing a comprehensive documentation of human evolution through expression. As such, music and the arts are weighted with an incredibly powerful presence in every culture, especially that of the Red Hills region—specifically Thomasville, Georgia. The music, song, and dance came from Atlanta, but the spirit came from way deep in the piney woods. And it is deep in those woods that I join the early morning choir. It’s often men’s day in the woods, and “The Deacon,” Bob White, is singing his solo to the daybreak hymn.

I’ve never been a morning person, particularly at 2 a.m. while I’m loading dogs for the four-hour trip down south to Thomasville. But there’s something about the smell of coffee, the long road ahead, and the thought of stepping out there with my dogs that gets me up every single time. And by the time I pull into the Wildlife Management Area, the soloist is rallying for a chorus. They call from far off, and of course, I can never pinpoint their whereabouts.

Their song is a revenant. Proof that the birds are here.

I’m calling on my roots all the same as these noisy dogs sound like the hounds they once were. We all reach back and look for traces of our past. We do it for ourselves, we do it through the dogs, and we do it to acknowledge the trial and tribulation of a not-so-bygone era of the Jim Crow South, and the perseverance and prevail of the dogmen and plantation owners here who were able to transcend racial constructs to establish the foundation to bird dog history. There are great dogs in the Red Hills, some National Field Trial Champions, some touched by the hands of great men like Neal Carter, Jr.; Terry Chastain, Sr.; and a niche group of plantation dogmen who ran field trials and guided mule-drawn wagons through the lank of Pinus palustris.

But I’d been told by Neal himself, 'The birds just move a little different down in that red clay.” I’m not sure I still fully understand these birds down here, although I try to anticipate what’s going on based on my dog’s body language. It takes a bit for a young dog to learn how to handle coveys down here. All the odds have to add up for the art of handling bird dogs to truly come alive. It’s much less technical and all about connecting simultaneously with the dogs and with the land.'"

The Wild Quail Hunts at Hollywood Farms:

Choose three days, two nights during the weekdays of the week.

This event is limited to 3 participating hunters.


Rates:

One Hunter; Single Occupancy: $4,680
One Hunter and one Non-Hunter: Double Occupancy: $5,660

IMPORTANT: Please note most of our events are limited to 10 guests staying in five bedrooms (unless otherwise stated).

Please select the number of rooms needed that corresponds to your reservation.

Please be sure to call or email us with any dietary restrictions.

*Option for guests to stay in the house for an additional evening may be available with prior notice.

The Sporting Life Notebook asks that guests not take photos or video during the hunts. If guests would like photo or video documentation, Durrell can arrange for photography.

Guests will also receive a 9 x 12-inch watercolor/India ink painting of the hunt by Durrell within 6 months after the hunt has taken place as a gift and thank you to our guests.

Guests are also welcome to join a follow-up episode of The Sporting Life Notebook to review the hunting experience.

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